Ron Cephas Jones, who won two Primetime Emmy Awards for his role on This Is Us, has died. He was 66.
A representative for Jones confirmed the actor’s death in a statement to Fox News Digital on Saturday.
“Beloved and award-winning actor Ron Cephas Jones has passed away at the age of 66 due to a longstanding pulmonary issue,” the statement read.
It continued, “Throughout the course of his career, his warmth, beauty, generosity, kindness and heart were felt by anyone who had the good fortune of knowing him.”
“He began his career at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and his love for the stage was present throughout his entire career, including his recent Tony nominated and Drama Desk Award winning performance for his role in Clyde’s on Broadway.”
“Ron’s inner-beauty and soul was evident to the huge audience from his multi-Emmy award-winning performance on This is Us. He is survived by his daughter Jasmine Cephas Jones,” the statement concluded.
Jones played William Hill, the biological father of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) on This Is Us throughout the show’s six-season run from 2016 to 2022. Jones was a main character during the series’ first two seasons before appearing as a guest star in the final four seasons.
His character was a recovering drug addict with terminal stomach cancer who reconnects with Randall 36 years after his son was adopted by Jack and Rebecca Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore).
The actor’s performance as Hill earned him four consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations with two wins in 2018 and 2020 for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. In 2020, Jones and his daughter Jasmine made Emmy history as the first father and daughter to win in the same year.
“As a parent, that’s the most fulfilled I could ever feel,” Jones told reporters of Jasmine during the post-awards show press conference.
“Winning another Emmy is icing on the cake, but to see my daughter move into this place where she’s earned an Emmy … it’s beyond words. I tear up every time I think about it. The highlight of this whole journey is to see my daughter become happy, successful, and healthy. That’s a parent’s dream. As a parent, nothing could be finer. Nothing.”
He added: “Out of all [my] Emmys, [my daughter] winning is everything. My heart explodes when I think about the success she is having.” Jones shared Jasmine with British jazz singer Kim Lesley.
Jones most recently starred in the Apple+ crime drama series Truth Be Told from 2016 to 2023. He played Lukather “Shreve” Scoville, the father of main character Poppy Parnell (Octavia Spencer). From 2016 to 2018, he portrayed Bobby Fish, a friend of Pop (Frankie Faison), in the Netflix superhero show Marvel’s Luke Cage. Jones also appeared in a number of other television show including Mr. Robot, The Get Down, Law & Order: Organized Crime, Better Things, Lisey’s Story, Banshee and Looking for Alaska.
His film credits include roles in Dolemite Is My Name, Half Nelson, Across the Universe, He Got Game, Sweet and Lowdown, Glass Chin, The Holiday Calendar, and Dog Days.
Following the announcement of his death, Jones’ This Is Us co-stars shared heartfelt tributes to the late actor on social media.
Brown referenced the emotional This Is Us episode in which Hill succumbs to cancer with Randall by his side. “Life imitated art today, and one of the most wonderful people the world has ever seen is no longer with us,” the actor wrote on Instagram.
He continued, “@cephasjaz has passed away, and the world is a little less bright. Brother, you are loved. And you will be missed. Keep them laughing in the next phase of existence, and I’ll see you when I get there.”
In her Instagram tribute, Moore said that Jones was “pure magic” and shared a photo of the two together in a scene from the show.
“Getting to know and work with Ron on the wild ride of ‘This Is Us’ was the greatest gift- he was pure magic as a human and an artist … I will treasure all of the moments forever,” she wrote in the caption. “Even though he wasn’t around set as much as we all wished, he was such an intrinsic part of the fabric of the show, it’s like he was always there. I’ll never forget how special it was to film this particular episode and welcome him back to say a proper goodbye to our TIU family and the whole experience. I am just so sad. My thoughts and love are with Jasmine and his family and friends. Love you, @cephasjaz.”
Chrissy Metz, who played Kate Pearson, one of the Pearson triplets along with Randall and Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley), also took to Instagram to honour Jones.
“Ron, thank you for brightening every room you walked into. I’ll never forget and have been changed by your kind heart, amazing spirit, immeasurable talent and beautiful smile,” she captioned an image of Jones from the show.
She continued, “May your transition be full of light and peace. Sending all of my love to Jasmine & his loved ones during this time .
You are truly the coolest cat.”
In a 2022 interview with Fox 2 in St. Louis, Jones opened up about returning to the stage with the Broadway play Clyde’s after undergoing a double-lung transplant in May 2020.
“When the breathing problem started, you know, that’s when I started to panic a little bit,” he said. “I kept under wraps. I didn’t go public with it because I was afraid I may not be able to do a play again. So to be here with you talking about it, it’s a great feeling.”
Jones also reflected on drawing upon his own life experiences when portraying characters in his film and television roles.
“A lot of these characters that I play now after being around — I mean, I’ll be 65 in January. So I’ve seen a lot of life, you know, and a lot of men and women that come and go, family and friends and just people in different neighbourhoods that I grew up. So there’s a lot of source material that I can draw off of with William in particular.”
The actor expressed his pride over the success of Jasmine, who originated the roles of Maria Reynolds and Peggy Schuyler in the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton.
“Every time I talk about her, I start crying,” he said.
Overall, Jones told the outlet that he felt very grateful for his roles both on-screen and in life.
“Man, you know, I’ve been so lucky.”
This article originally appeared in Fox News and was reproduced with permission.
Originally published as This Is Us star Ron Cephas Jones dead at 66